So You Want To Be A Poet

if you are in it for cash
change genres

now study the rules:
bend them
break them
see things
see things
that aren’t there

it is not what you
but what you don’t


revision feels like
clean underwear
after a weekend of not finding
your own door

be a word lover
not a word whore
stand on the corner
like Brautigan and give
it a way for free

dance like Micheline and yell
it from the streets
the alleys
drink wine on roof tops
like Bill Taylor &
seek shelter
in afternoon bars

don’t try to
the dead poets
find your voice
then light the fuse
throw it into the night
like a Molotov cocktail
waiting to explode

give a reading in a laundry mat

if you buy a bookstore
don’t screw
your fellow poets
raise the young ones
celebrate the old ones

never call yourself a poet
that is for others to decide

try oral sex with words

take your pick, either style
if you want to be a poet
practice cunnilingus
with syl- la- bles
until she screams


then close your eyes
avoid clichés
like there is no tomorrow
grab the world
by the ass
and never stop

28 Responses to So You Want To Be A Poet

  1. Scot,

    I like this one a lot, and not just for the obvious reasons. Plenty of good advice here. I’ve given more than a few readings in laundry mats and would recommend it. keep on.

  2. Paul says:

    This is an almostmanifestopoem, i will stop calling myself a Poet and avoid cliches like the plague, haha, rage on,

  3. Scot, this might be of interest to you and your readers. If you have anything from your archives tou’d like to contribute (or something new) just hand it on over and I’ll post it gladly.

    Hemingway’s Shotgun is an online magazine devoted to all manner of poetic verse but with a particular emphasis on poetry on the topic of literature, books, and reading.

    Send us your poetry today. We’re not particular. Iambic pentameter? Cool. Sonnets? Sure, why not? Haiku and haiku sonnets? Absolutely. Anything that displays the art of rythmical composition and speaks to the subject of literature will be considered. And of course all authors retain their copyright(s). Include a two-line bio.

    What we’re doing doing is community building and exposing good craft with verse. Which is another way of saying that there is no compensation.

    All works appearing at Hemingway’s Shotgun are selected and edited by Rodger Jacobs.

    Send your submissions to rodger_jacobs at yahoo dot com

    Hemingway’s Shotgun is a presentation of Carver’s Dog

  4. Scot says:

    Thanks Rodger

    Pasted or as attachment?

  5. Pasted is good, Scot.

  6. Ali says:

    Nothing better than the link between poetry and sex. Brilliant, original and damn sexy.
    I love this: be a word lover not a word whore and of course this: try oral sex with words

    take your pick, either style
    if you want to be a poet
    practice cunnilingus
    with syl- la- bles
    until she screams




  7. jo says:

    Very good indeed this one, Scot. Great rhythm and structurally sound, plus it made me smile.

  8. enigma says:

    Great poem, a lot to digest…even though speaking through oral sex can get difficult.

  9. Scot says:

    ENIGMA…happy easter.

  10. Scot says:

    Thanks Jo

  11. Scot says:

    Thanks Ali for the kind comments and observations

  12. Great advice, especially the reading bit

  13. Amanda says:

    Very intresting read. . . Sometimes it is hard to find a poet who claims not to be one.

  14. Scot says:

    Green Poet
    Reading is good

  15. Scot says:

    really somebody just trying to get the words right. Thanks for stopping in.

  16. haha good advice

    “revision feels like
    clean underwear
    after a weekend of not finding
    your own door”

    haha thats a little optomistic, don’t you think? some of us haven’t worn clean underwear in months haha, and as for having a door, *lah-de-dah!*

    seriously, thanks for the read. 🙂

  17. Sara says:

    I would love if you would submit this to our National Poetry Month project at PWB. Off the top of my head, I can’t remember if you signed up. But if you haven’t, please consider doing so by emailing me at

    I haven’t sought out personally other poets but this poem would really work for it. If not, maybe we can feature it some other time at PWB. Let me know

  18. Scot says:

    I will check it out. Come back often, something new is here and linked about everyday–also stop by Hemingway’s Shotgun–maybe submit a poem fro his online mag.

  19. ~beth says:

    This is bloody brilliant!

  20. nectarfizz says:

    Crap I called myself a poet in my last poem..please don’t haze me. (grin)


  21. leigh lear says:

    this was great, i really enjoyed it.

  22. Scot says:

    Thanks so much Leigh

  23. paisley says:

    a lovely affirmation… i found myself wanting to yell out yes yes yes more than once… thank you….

  24. Scot says:

    thank you 🙂

  25. janetleigh says:

    Damm that was good..!

    ..wanna cigarette, poopsie?!


  26. I adore poems that tell you so much without telling you nothing, like you have to go away with questions that won’t ever be answered.

    “try orel sex with words” a concept that is splendid…must try it sometime!

    Well done, powerful poem. I would love it if you could visit my blog, I have 2poems on their that I would appreciate if you could tell me what you think.


  27. Scot says:

    Thanks for reading and dropping in…I will visit

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